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5/2/2013
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Android Tablets Edge Out iPad: IDC

Google's Android platform now the dominant OS on tablets worldwide, IDC says.

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The global tablet market saw incredible growth year-over-year, jumping 142.4% during the first quarter of 2013. Tablet makers shipped 49.2 million devices, which, according to analyst firm IDC, is more than they shipped during the entire first half of 2012. Apple remained the number one tablet vendor throughout the first three months of the year, but the iPad's overall share of the tablet market has dropped sharply from a year ago.

Apple shipped 19.5 million iPads, giving it 39.6% of the 49.2 million tablets shipped during the period. There's no denying that Apple shipped more tablets than any other hardware vendor. Though Apple saw growth in the number of shipments, increasing 65.3% from 11.5 million in the year-ago period, iOS's dominant position in the tablet market crashed from 58.1% to 39.6%.

Google's Android platform is now the dominant operating system on tablets worldwide.

Android tablet vendors shipped an aggregate 27.8 million devices, giving Android 56.5% of the tablet market in terms of the operating system. Those same vendors shipped only 8 million tablets in the year-ago period. Android saw 247.5% growth year-over-year.

Microsoft's Windows 8 and Windows RT platforms together saw shipments of 1.8 million, giving them a combined presence of just 3.7% of the market.

[ iPad's diminutive little brother is winning the popularity contest with consumers. Read iPad Mini Eating iPad's Lunch. ]

Looking at the individual hardware makers, it is no surprise to see Samsung in second place behind Apple. Samsung shipped 8.8 million tablets, giving it 17.9% of the market. Samsung saw impressive 282.6% growth from the year-ago period, when it shipped only 2.3 million tablets.

Asus fills out the third spot, with 5.5% of the tablet market, no doubt thanks to continued strong sales of the Nexus 7. It shipped 2.7 million tablets during the first quarter, rising 350% from the year-ago period when it shipped just 0.6 million tablets.

Amazon ranks fourth, with sales of 1.8 million tablets, giving it 3.7% of the market. It, too, saw growth, swelling 157.1% year-over-year.

Microsoft ranks fifth, with sales of about 900,000 and 1.8% of the market.

IDC's numbers differ a bit from those recently shared by competing analyst firm Strategy Analytics. Strategy Analytics broke things down differently, as it chose to largely ignore what it calls "white-box" tablets in its main analysis.

White-box tablets are low-end devices made by one company but sold with another company's brand on the box. Strategy Analytics says the bulk of the white-box tablets sold around the world run Android. It chose to instead compare "branded" tablets from known manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, ASUS, Microsoft and others in its report. With the white-box tablets off the table, Strategy Analytics says Apple's iPad still maintains the top position in terms of hardware sales and operating system. When you put the white-box tablets back in the picture, though, Strategy Analytics allows that, indeed, more Android tablets shipped than iPads during the first quarter.

The bottom line here is that Google's Android operating system was on the majority of tablets shipped during the first period of the year, putting Apple's iOS-drive iPad firmly in second place.

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Andy Atkins
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Andy Atkins,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/2/2013 | 4:30:02 PM
re: Android Tablets Edge Out iPad: IDC
However, It looks like the trend may be reversing. No one ever predicted that apple could maintain the incredibky high market share they had in tablets after the ipad was intoduced and sold like hotcakes from day 1, from looking at the chart in this article it looks like Apple's market share in tablets appears to have bottomed out in Q4 2012 actually increasing in Q1 2013 and with no new ipad in the quarter. My prediction is that when the dust settles Android and Apple will each have about half the market but with apple making 90% of the profits. A lot of android tablets sell BC they are so cheap, under a hundred bucks for some of the 7" ones. Most people figure out quickly that you get what you pay for. Those sub one hundred dollar tablets are not really in the same league or any serious long term threat to ipad. In fact the really cheap ones probably hurt android overall as people have bad experiences and blame android.
PWHITE000
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PWHITE000,
User Rank: Guru
5/2/2013 | 6:15:03 PM
re: Android Tablets Edge Out iPad: IDC
Yep. In 2010 when the iPad hit the market, I purchased three different cheap Android tablets. I hated them so much that by 2011 I was the owner of an iPad 1. By trying to save money, I actually ended up spending more.

I found that low-end Android tablets only make the iPad seem that much better. Even in public places, observers will notice the difference between a quality device and a cheap one... especially with tablets where so much depends on the ease which the hand makes it function or not.

Now I have the attitude that if there's not much difference in price between the competing platforms, it pays to go with the champ. But, stay away from the stuff on the bottom.
mrarick
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mrarick,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/2/2013 | 6:45:20 PM
re: Android Tablets Edge Out iPad: IDC
This chart would be a lot more useful if it showed actual sales on the vertical scale rather than % of sales. While market share % is nice to see, I'd like to see actual numbers to show the overall growth of the entire market. I don't think Apple is too concerned about market share as long as their sales continue to increase.
Likewise, PC makers are not lamenting that they're losing market share over their competitors. They're more concerned about the overall numbers (which are going down).
zman58
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zman58,
User Rank: Strategist
5/2/2013 | 8:20:43 PM
re: Android Tablets Edge Out iPad: IDC
With the introduction of higher end Android tablets, this trend will not subside. Android covers all ends of the market through many various hardware vendors and will continue to do so. Apple is not in the position to prevent this from occurring, heaven knows they have been trying in the courts with litigation and very little success. The incredible growth of Android/Linux continues. The rate of growth of Android is increasing with time--not leveling off yet and already have more than half the market.
Unless Apple can perform miracles with innovation, something i highly doubt will happen, they have lost the lead and most likely will never get it back.
zman58
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zman58,
User Rank: Strategist
5/2/2013 | 9:04:38 PM
re: Android Tablets Edge Out iPad: IDC
Yes, the lower end tablets are not comparable to upper end, far more expensive tablets. But on the other hand, the lower end tablets will fill market demand where Apple can not possibly reach with the expensive devices they peddle. Those lower end tablets are used widely in markets where folks can't afford to pay a full years wage, or their entire life savings, to own and operate a tablet.

But also consider and look at the high end Android tablets. Like in the higher end smart-phones, Android has improved rapidly and in many cases surpassed what Apple has to offer in fit, form, and functionality. The power of vast assortments of community-driven innovation and software development cannot be matched by a single proprietary vendor--no matter how many baseless lame patents they try to amass.

The iParty is basically over. Apple will continue to be a great device manufacturer, but will no longer lead the mobile device market. Hopefully they will get off of the litigation front and get back to building the best products they can--their only hope for success.

Just imagine if Apple were to build an Apple Android device--think that might be cool? With their incredible focus on design, it could be a big win for them. But no, they will stubbornly refuse to provide what the market demands and, instead, litigate their way to the doldrums of smaller niche technology providers.
Mrbigshot51
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Mrbigshot51,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/3/2013 | 2:40:04 AM
re: Android Tablets Edge Out iPad: IDC
Forget about the cheap Android tablets. The BlackBerry Playbook has been forgotten but it's superior to all cheap android tablets and just a notch below the iPad. Check out my review of the Playbook at www.bigshotreviews.com
Andy Atkins
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Andy Atkins,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/3/2013 | 1:40:21 PM
re: Android Tablets Edge Out iPad: IDC
To show android with a lead you have to count near zero profit sub $100 "tablets", not really apples to apples.if you are going to do that you should count iPods too. A lot of people try android as their first smartphone or tablet because it is cheaper or at least they think it is cheaper. Most will like it but a good percentage, maybe 20% every year, upgrade to iPhone or iPad out of frustration with some issue or other. I have owned and used all the iPhones and iPads, a Samsung android phone and both large and small android tablets and in my opinion although android is more customizable it is clearly not as intuitive as ios. That leads to frustration for some users so a certain percentage leave android. People leave iOS too, for different reasons usually but at a far lower rate, probably half the percentage that leave android every year. Eventually that will catch up with android. As cloud services become more featured and critical, vertical integration and security become more important. I am guessing you are one of the ones who said the ipad was just a big iPhone. Also what do you mean by "very little success" in the patent litigation department? are you referring to the record setting monster judgement they won against Samsung last year?ut that in your corn cob pipe and smoke it.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
5/7/2013 | 9:42:32 AM
re: Android Tablets Edge Out iPad: IDC
Eric, if you would ever deign to respond to a comment here (or even read them!), I would love to know how anyone knows how many tablets Samsung ships, as they refuse to give out those numbers, as with smartphones,. All that any of these companies can do is to guess, as there are no confirming numbers. If we go by usage measurements, we find that Android tablets as a whole only comprise about 8% of the useage, with Samsung about 3%. It can't be possible that the iPad is used 15 times as much for web browsing as all other tablets put together. So the figures we see must be incorrect in some way. Why don't people like you do some work, and question those shipment numbers, and demand sell through numbers as only Apple seems willing to give?
PWHITE000
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PWHITE000,
User Rank: Guru
5/24/2013 | 6:53:42 PM
re: Android Tablets Edge Out iPad: IDC
What?
PWHITE000
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PWHITE000,
User Rank: Guru
5/24/2013 | 7:03:54 PM
re: Android Tablets Edge Out iPad: IDC
Andy, you're talking about me here. I have owned four Android phones and two tablets. I have also owned two iPads. To me there's absolutely no comparison... my Android devices just feel and function cheaply where the iPad seems like quality all the way through. Android's strength is also it's weakness. There are just so many manufacturers and models that you're going to have a slew of really bad models sitting on the shelf next to some good models. Go to Targets and take a look. They have dozens of phones. I saw 1 iphone; 3 Windows phones; and dozens and dozens of Android phones. Here was my feeling: the iphone was at the very top of quality phones carried by Target. There were some excellent Android phones too but there were many, many lousy ones. There were no lousy iphones. Do you see my point? If a buyer wants to look at the best phones available, he must look at Apple as well as it's competitors, but if he wants to look at low-end devices, Apple is not even in the running. You get what you pay for.
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